Adventure Hotel Hof is, along with the old turf church Hofskirkja, located in the central region of Öræfasveit, encompassed with captivating surroundings. Parts of the hotel are in buildings that were originally used as stables and barns for sheep but have been transformed into a comfy country hotel with modern touches that provides personal service to its visitors. When inside there is not much remaining of the original purpose of the buildings but it gives an authentic country vibe to the hotel. The interior welcoming with modern touches here and there, which offer a warm and comfortable stay. This dramatic change in the appearance of the buildings, further emphasizes the great change that has been made, from farming and taking care of sheep, to providing quality service to travelers from all over the world. In total, the Adventure Hotel Hof has 45 rooms. Upon arrival, the Reception house greets you with a cosy lounge and spacious restaurant. These spaces are communal and have free WiFi internet access. The private rooms in the guesthouse are decorated amply with various artwork. In addition to the 17 rooms located in the old barn, we have 16 rooms in an extension behind the old barn. We then have 4 cottages which have 8 rooms in total. Each cottage has 2 rooms and 1 bathroom between the rooms. Additionally, we have 6 rooms in the old school house, known as the parliament building.
In our bistro, you can enjoy breakfast and evening meals made from pure and fresh locally sourced ingredients. We offer both fish and meat courses and a vegetarian/vegan option for our guests. Please check at the reception for more information regarding the menu of the day. We also offer the option of serving wine, beer and soda with dinner. Guests can order a packed lunch for hikes and sightseeing. Please note that if you wish for a packed lunch you need to place an order the evening before. A breakfast buffet is available and can be booked along with your room or on-site.
The hotel has 47 rooms which all include made-up beds, towels and complimentary tea/coffee. We have a restaurant which serves breakfast from 7.30-9.30 and dinner from 18.30 – 20.30 all year round. In the main building, we have 17 rooms, 7 of which has shared facilities with access to two shared bathrooms. While the remaining 10 rooms each have a private bathroom. In the building located behind the main building, we have 16 rooms which all have private facilities. In the building located below the drive-way, we have 6 rooms, 1 triple, 1 double/twin rooms and 4 single room. All of the rooms have a private sink. The accommodation then comprises of two shared bathrooms and a living room. Additionally, we have 4 cottages which have 8 rooms in total. Each cottage has 2 rooms which have an adjoined shared bathroom.
|Double or twin room with private bathroom|
|Double with shared bathroom|
|Triple room with private bathroom|
|Triple room with shared bathroom|
|Family room with private bathroom|
|Single room with private bathroom|
|Single room with a shared bathroom|
For centuries the farm lands in Öræfi were amongst the more isolated areas in the country. The glacial melts streaming from Vatnajökull glacier made it difficult to travel to and from the region. Öræfasveit is by some called in short, the Land between the sands, which refers to Skeiðarársandur in the west and Breiðamerkursandur in the east. In the region there are many glacial rivers streaming from the glaciers, the largest of them the Gígja River. In 1974 there was a bridge built over Skeiðará. It is the longest bridge in Iceland, measuring 904 m. The construction of the bridge marked a turning point in history for Öræfasveit, for the first time it´s isolation was broken and travelling to and from the area made possible. Serving travellers is a long standing tradition in Öræfi, but for centuries the gracious residents in the farm lands have greeted tired travellers and provided them with food and shelter before embarking on their journey through the magical lands of Öræfi once again.
For further information please take a look at our brochure :
Öræfajökull glacier, the largest active volcano in Iceland, dominates the landscape above Hof. It´s peak Hvannadalshnjúkur measures 2110 m or about 6920 feet, and thus holds the title of being the highest peak in Iceland. Öræfajökull glacier is a part of Vatnajökull glacier and many valley glaciers derive from it. It´s volume is estimated around 70 cubic km. Öræfajökull glacier has erupted twice in historical time. In 1362 the volcano erupted explosively with devestating effect for the farm estates in the area which resulted in desertion of the dozens of estates due to massive flooding and tephra fall. Litla – Hérað, or Little – District, which was a flourishing farmland prior to the eruption, became a volcanic wastelad, and has been that way ever since and have been called Öræfi. The volcano erupted again in 1727 and the eruption was going on for almost one year. The damage was not as much as in the eruption in 1362.
Today, Hof in Öræfi inhabits around 20 people, with permanent residence on 5 estates. Circumstances have thus changed vastly since the late 19th century, when Hof was populated by around 130 people living on 13 small farms. Sheep cultivation and horse breeding have for the most part, been the primary source of livelihood for the people residing at Hof, but tourism has been steadily growing as a profession, both there and in the surrounding areas. Even though Hof is located far away from the densely populated area on the southwestern corner of Iceland where the capital, Reykjavík is located, both internet connection and other telecommunications are impeccable, due to the efforts of the locals who had a fiber optic cable installed for every estate.
Hof in Öræfi has been a ecclesiastical site for almost 700 years, and is first mentioned in a cartulary from 1343. Hofskirkja Church was dedicated to saint Clement. The core of the current church at Hof was built in 1884, and was the last turf church built in the old Icelandic architectural style. Its walls are assembled of rocks and its roof made of stone slabs, covered in turf. The reredos in Hofskirkja Church was painted by the artist Ólafur Túbals. Hofskirkja Church is one of six churches, in Iceland still standing which are preserved as historical monuments. It is recorded that Páll Pálsson, a carpenter, built the church, but Þorsteinn Gissurarson, a blacksmith from Hof forged the building hardware, the lock and hinges. The church is maintained by the National Museum but also serves as a parish church.
The Magma Hot Spot under the Glacier
The year 2011 marked the first volcanic eruption in Grímsvötn for seven years and the 12th eruption since the 1900s. The seven year pause between eruptions in Grímsvötn caused crustal deformation do to magma movements in the volcanic system and seismic activity. The eruption was more powerful than expected but all the same a fairly standard phreatomagmatic eruption, releasing a substantial amount of tephra, ash, pumice and magma into the atmosphere. The ash cloud from the eruption on May 21st 2011, rose to about 15-17 km and the quantity of ash about 10 times greater than was yielded from the volcanic activity in Eyjafjallajökull in 2010. The glacial cap was melted by the flowing magma which scattered when it came in contact with water in the caldera, close to Svínahnúkur. Jökulhlaup is the Icelandic word used to describe a sudden flood following eruptions under glacial caps, when the melt water is released. In this case the eruption was not followed by such a flood because there was little melt water produced during the eruption. There was a massive widespread layer of ash clouds in the area, mainly reaching to the south and south west from Grímsvötn and Vatnajökull. The eruption was over in about a week.
Located near Hof is the nature reserve, Ingólfhöfði. It is a high cliff formation on the south east coast of Iceland. The headland is residence for nesting seabirds. The view from the cape is spectacular, both of the black volcanic sands on the south east coast as well as the roaring waves of the North – Atlantic Ocean. Ingólfshöfði is a 76 m high, 1,200 m long palagonite- and dolerite cliff, inhabited by varied majestic seabirds characteristic for Iceland.
Mostly guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and puffins, amongst other species which lay their eggs and nest both on the cliff and in surrounding areas. The historical cape is named after the first settler of Iceland, the legendary Ingólfur Arnarson who came ashore on the cape accompanied by his blood brother Hjörleifur, and spent his first winter in Iceland in the year 874 AD. In 1974, the year we celebrated our independence, and 1100 years of Iceland settlement the cape was proclaimed a nature preserve and a monument put up to honor Ingólfur Arnarson. In 1912 a shelter for cast aways was constructed but the light house on the east part of the cape is from 1916. It was re-built in 1948. In the summertime there are daily tours to the cape in a tractor drawn hay wagon, departing from Hofsnes.
Located in approximately ten minute driving distance from Hof, is the National Park in Skaftafell. In June 2008, Skaftafell National Park was integrated with the Vatnajökull National Park which covers a 13.000 km² terrain, close to 13% of Iceland´s land mass. To this day it ranks as Europe’s largest National Park. Skaftafells natural beauty is sensational and offers a unique view both of Iceland highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, and our country’s largest valley glacier. In Skaftafell you also have a spectacular view of the most ample sand flats Iceland has to offer. The vegetations in the area are more lush and disparate then in most other areas. In addition to the National Parks in Skaftafell and Jökulsárgljúfur, Vatnajökull National Park encompasses Vatnajökull itself, in its entire enormity. The park is divided into 4 sectors, west, north, east and south, and Skaftafell is based on its south side.
For further information please visit:
Jökulsárlón á Breiðamerkursandi
Jökulsárlón-Glacier lagoon is situated in approximately 30 minute driving distance from Hof. It is one of Iceland’s most visited places. It truly is one of natures most magnificent and breath taking sights and mesmerizing to everyone who visits. The scenery is simply picturesque. In the summertime it is possible to take a boat ride on the glacier lagoon, and sail amongst the icebergs, originating from Vatnajökull Glacier, constantly and slowly making their way in to the lagoon.
For further information please visit : www.jokulsarlon.is
From the camp site in Skaftafell, there is a 30 minute walk through Giljastígur to Svartifoss, which translates to “Black Falls”, a waterfall which is one of the main attractions of Skaftafell National Park. The hiking path leading to the waterfall is well travelled and the walk should be manageable by most. Black basalt columns flank the waterfall, arranged in a hexagonal pattern. These majestic columns create a vertical wall which Svartifoss falls down on, and is a sight truly bewitching.
Thorbergur Centre on Hali, was built in memory of one of Iceland’s more famous writer Þórbergur Þórðarson. It is located in approximately 45 minute driving distance from Hof. In Thorbergur Centre there is a heritage museum and a unique exhibition of the district Sudursveit as well as the writer Þórbergur Þórðarson, both his life and work.The Center also houses a souvenir shop and a small restaurant making it easy for everyone to find something suitable of interest.
For further information please visit : www.thorbergssetur.is/
Hiking in Öræfi is brilliant, and offers a vast array of hiking options, aimed to suit almost everyone. It ranges from normal hiking on marked trails in e.g. Morsárdal and Bæjarstaðarskógur, up to glacier hiking in the National Park. The options are almost limitless and the majestic surroundings offer a unique experience and scenery with every taken step. With the knowledge that you are in fact, staying in Europe’s largest National Park, having Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest Glacier as a backdrop will make a visit to this area even more spectacular and memorable!
Reviewed on March 15, 2020 by Haley Jagarwal Review from Google Reviews
Great place to stop and rest for the night. Amazing views
Reviewed on March 06, 2020 by Christian Schernthaner Review from Google Reviews
Except for the lobby and entrance area it feels like a hostel. We stayed in a separate building. The noise level was like in a tent. The location itself is awesome with stunning views of the surrounding area. The quality of dinner (not included) was good.
Reviewed on March 04, 2020 by Lesley Wylie Review from Google Reviews
A delightful surprise after day one of our two day tour. The food and service was wonderful and the rooms were very clean and well appointed. The skyrocketing cake was perfection!